Depending on the Baby, Quite Possibly a God-Send
May 27, 2008 (Updated May 27, 2008)
Review by danielletheory
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Smooth glide, durable, comfortable, wonderful aesthetics, tons of options
The Bottom Line: While I can't say this would work for every baby, it's indispensable in our household. Large, but the size is a safety feature in that the wide legs enhance stability.
I was initially reluctant to invest in a swing for our newborn. This being our first child, I thought a swing was an unnecessary luxury.
Recommend this product?
We ended up receiving the Fisher-Price Starlight Cradle Swing as a gift & it has *revolutionized* our experience raising a newborn. This swing is a fixture in our baby's daily sleep routine & I wouldn't want to imagine not having it.
The good: 1) the swing is very attractive with muted colors that work well for a boy or girl and with most any decor. The papasan is fairly plush & made with a soft fabric that cradles our average-sized newborn perfectly. We have not had any stains on the fabric, so I cannot speak to its stain resistance, however, the cover is removable for washing.
2) There are multiple settings from which to use music, lights, mobile, and swing speed. The mobile & lights have been overstimulating for our baby, so they are rarely used. The music is a mixture of traditional lullabies & nature sounds. We always use the lowest swing speed & give it a "nudge" to start. While the low swing speed seems too slow at first, this nudge makes all the difference in the world & the swing speed remains perfectly consistent.
3) Something special about this swing is that it has a plug-in option, in addition to batteries. We have always used the plug, so I can't speak to battery life.
4) Another special feature has to do with the swing itself. In addition to variable swing speeds, you can easily use a 2-position recline for the seat position. Both angle options are excellent for our little one -- the upright position is perfect when a baby is fussy from tummy trouble and needs to remain in an upright position. The swing gives your arms a break!
Also, you can set the papasan to swing from side-to-side or front-to-back. I've heard that most babies prefer side-to-side, and that has proven to be true for our little one.
5) I love the thin mesh fabric that surrounds the swing unit. I worry about a draft while the baby is in the swing, and this mesh seems to cut down on draft, & filter light ever so slightly.
The bad: 1) At $150, this swing is not one of the cheapest on the market
2) The motor is not absolutely silent. At first, I thought the motor sound (a light "click") was a flaw, however other reviews say that all motorized swings have some sort of motor sound. We've gotten very used to the sound. I now have positive associations with the sound, since it means the baby is content!
3) The swing is a pretty large size & takes up an entire corner of our living room. Hence, my initial reluctance to get it. In order to be as stable as possible, the legs extend over 3' wide to make a sturdy base.
4) You must assemble the swing. I found it fairly easy to do so, but the assembly requires a bit of effort.
5) A friend of mine found her baby becoming dependent on her Papasan Cradle Swing. Because the swing is so large, it's not easy to transport. If your baby is constantly taking naps in the swing (mine sleeps in it daily!), it may make naptime more difficult when the swing isn't available.
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